Brexit.

Innula Zenovka

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Not if labour can ride to the rescue...



What a change three days can make!


Yes, I know it's Keir Starmer saying it rather than Jeremy Corbyn but I don't think Labour's Brexit spokesman, particularly since it's Keir Starmer, who pays careful attention to what he says, would have said something like that on the Today programme (so an important political interview spot, not a throwaway remark) without being sure that he was speaking on behalf of the Labour front bench and leader, or at least that while some of them might be fuming, they'll back him up since they have to.
 
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Tigger

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Yeah but Starmer is the one they trot out to make anti-brexit noises while Corbyn cheers brexit on. Labour is at best schizophrenic on this and carries zero trust on the subject.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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Yeah but Starmer is the one they trot out to make anti-brexit noises while Corbyn cheers brexit on. Labour is at best schizophrenic on this and carries zero trust on the subject.
Why do you think it is that *they* not only"trot out" Keir Starmer to make out anti-brexit noises but they also made him (and not, for example, his front-bench colleague, the more pro-Brexit and pro-Corbyn Rebecca Long-Bailey) Labour's shadow Brexit secretary?

And who are *they* who chose to "trot out" Starmer on a prime BBC political interview spot to make pretty specific noises about what should be in the Withdrawal Agreement bill? This is the party's lead guy on Brexit, remember, not some mutinous anti-Corbyn back-bencher. Presumably Starmer was pretty sure Corbyn's not going to sack him for saying that the WA bill needs to include a confirmatory referendum to stand a chance of passing -- which seems to me no more contentious than saying that it's highly unlikely that Trump will ever persuade Mexico to pay for his wall, or that it will even get built.

Time will tell, but I really don't see that Starmer's remarks indicate that Labour abstaining on the WA bill is particularly likely. We'll know one way or the other in the next couple of weeks, anyway.

For what it's worth, I don't think anything is fixed until we see the outcome of the European elections and how the British political parties react -- particularly the Conservatives. But I just don't see any likely path to Labour whipping to do anything other than oppose the WA bill when it finally reaches the Commons, or how, if they did try to whip for abstentions it would result in anything other than a huge back-bench rebellion and probably several resignations from the front bench too.

It would also be suicidal for Corbyn and his entourage because it would destroy his support amongst Labour members and activists -- seriously, it would damage him far more amongst the party membership and supporters than did Tony Blair's support for the invasion of Iraq and his lies about WMD damage him with his party.

If there's an explanation for why it would make sense for Corbyn to try to whip for Labour abstentions on the WA bill now the talks with the government have collapsed that doesn't assume he's taken leave of his senses or that he's finding his popularity with his power base in the Labour Party membership all rather tiresome and he'd rather they hated him and removed him from office, since this would leave more time for his allotment, please outline it for me, because I just can't see it.
 

Tigger

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And who are *they* who chose to "trot out" Starmer on a prime BBC political interview spot to make pretty specific noises about what should be in the Withdrawal Agreement bill? This is the party's lead guy on Brexit, remember, not some mutinous anti-Corbyn back-bencher. Presumably Starmer was pretty sure Corbyn's not going to sack him for saying that the WA bill needs to include a confirmatory referendum to stand a chance of passing -- which seems to me no more contentious than saying that it's highly unlikely that Trump will ever persuade Mexico to pay for his wall, or that it will even get built.
'They' in this context is the labour party. Whether he speaks on his own initiative, whether he is briefed by whatever administration the party has I don't know or care.

We've seen it again and again with brexit. Starmer comes out and says something anti-brexit, Corbyn later contradicts it all and waves his pro brexit flag. Either they are fighting each other or it is cynically organised in this way as part of Corbyn's fence sitting, appeal to both sides strategy. I don't care which is true or if something else is happening within their party. But I do know that there is no way on earth the Labour party can be trusted to be anti-brexit so long as Corbyn is it's leader.

(editted to fix spelling, no such word as 'withing')
 
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Innula Zenovka

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'They' in this context is the labour party. Whether he speaks on his own initiative, whether he is briefed by whatever administration the party has I don't know or care.

We've seen it again and again with brexit. Starmer comes out and says something anti-brexit, Corbyn later contradicts it all and waves his pro brexit flag. Either they are fighting each other or it is cynically organised in this way as part of Corbyn's fence sitting, appeal to both sides strategy. I don't care which is true or if something else is happening within their party. But I do know that there is no way on earth the Labour party can be trusted to be anti-brexit so long as Corbyn is it's leader.

(editted to fix spelling, no such word as 'withing')

Warning: incoming wall of text. Where's Sal got to?


"They" in this context "is the Labour Party"? Can you explain, please, which Labour Party mechanism you think exists for deciding such matters? I mean, who decides, do you think, which front-bench spokesperson should go on, and what they should say? Do you think Corbyn and Starmer decided this together, or do you think a committee exists that says Starmer should say something today so Corbyn -- and I note you say Corbyn, here, rather than some other individual like Rebecca Long-Bailey or "a labour spox" (often Seumas Milne) -- can contradict him a day or so later?

To my mind, if you simply apply Occam's razor, you realise that there is no need to hypothesise conspiracies or planning to explain apparently contradictory statements about Brexit from different figures in the same party, be it Labour or the Conservatives, when the contradictory statements can perfectly well be explained by the fact that the two speakers, despite their membership of the same party, simply disagree with each other and are fighting over party policy.

I think the thing people simply fail to take into account is that both the two parties that enjoy sufficient support nationally to hope to form a government, or at least the largest party in a coalition, Labour and the Conservatives, both represent, to a greater or lesser extent, the divisions that exist in the country about Brexit. It's easy for the Lib Dems or the Brexit Party, or the various nationalist parties, to form a clear and consistent policy on Brexit since it's a great deal easier to reach a consensus between 10 Democratic Unionist MPs, or 11 Lib Dems or 35 Scottish Nationalists than it is between 246 Labour MPs or 313 Conservatives.

Similarly, no parties other than Labour or the Conservatives need to worry about how they're going to put forward a national manifesto that's likely to command sufficient support to stand any hope of forming the next government. Take a look at this graph from fullfact.org:



Look at the proportion of blue in the bars representing the various parties' constituency base. Yes, in principle with a leader other than Corbyn -- whom I, a Labour Party member for many years, dislike almost as much as you clearly do -- Labour could very easily take an unequivocal position on Brexit and simply oppose it. That would certainly satisfy the great majority of Labour MPs, party members and voters, at least in the short term.

However, many of those MPs -- something in the region of 60% -- represent constituencies that voted Leave in the referendum. While most Labour MPs in that position quite rightly maintain their support for remaining in the EU and try to persuade their constituents to continue to support them, even if they cannot win them over to support the EU, they are in a very different position from the other 40% of Labour MPs, including my MP, a strong supporter of Remain and a second referendum, who represents a constituency that voted remain by a substantial majority, as does the constituency Labour Party,. However, despite this, he knows he needs to be able to reassure people who tell him they normally vote Labour but voted Leave in the referendum and want to know why he's not taking their vote seriously.

Meanwhile, as Labour MPs try to reassure voters who would normally support them were it not for the MP's support for the EU, and whose votes they need to remain as MPs, they're simultaneously having to persuade people who share their support for remaining in the EU to continue to support them, rather than the Lib Dems or the Greens, despite the Labour front benches' somewhat unequivocal position on the EU.

Were I a Lib-Dem strategist, seeking to maximise my party's share of the vote in the next election, I'd do the same thing -- but only if I didn't really care about who formed the next government, since obviously it wouldn't be the Lib Dems, and if I didn't care that, most of the time, by trying to maximise the Lib Dem vote nationally I would, much of the time, be helping to elect Tories (many of whom support a hard Brexit) by depressing the votes of pro-Remain Labour candidates. Though for people who care about their party winning sufficient seats actually to implement its policies or about splitting the anti-Tory, pro-EU vote, being a Lib Dem strategist probably isn't a good employment choice.

Now, if the Lib Dems and Greens would offer Labour a deal whereby, in return for Labour making an unequivocal commitment to revoking Article 50 and remaining in the EU, they'd agree not to run candidates, in constituencies they didn't currently hold, against pro-EU Labour candidates in constituencies where Labour came first or second last time and the size of their party's vote was greater than the winning party's majority in that constituency, that might well be a good reason for Labour to come off the fence.

It would almost certainly cost Labour support, and seats, in much of the country but that would be cancelled out by the support they'd gained from the Lib Dems/Greens, and maximise the number of MPs from pro-Remain parties following the next elections (assuming they take place while we're still members of the EU) while minimising the number of MPs representing a post-May Conservative Party that's probably in favour of a hard Brexit.

Does that deal appeal to you? If not, should I conclude that you don't really care whether we're in the EU or not, so long as we have a few more Lib Dem MPs?

I'm not suggesting that is your attitude, by the way. I know you care as much as do I about remaining in the EU. I'm just trying to explain to you why, regardless of who the leader is, Labour cannot easily take as unequivocal position on the EU as do some of the smaller parties, at least not if it wants to be able actually to implement its pro-Remain position.

All political parties are coalitions. The political situation in the UK at the moment is such that neither party that aspires to be in government and actually put its policies into operation can hope to form a the next government, or even be the largest party in it, without the support of at least some pro-Leave voters. Labour has to persuade them either to support remain or that, despite their dislike of the EU, they should still vote Labour because of Labour's policies in other areas.

Smaller parties like the Lib Dems and the Greens don't have that worry. They want to remain in opposition with a larger vote share. So they can simply not bother to convince Brexit supporters of anything -- by and large, they're interested in persuading pro-EU Labour supporters to switch their vote rather than trying to change any pro-Brexit voters' views on anything. Labour don't have that luxury.

Anyway, we will see soon enough. The government will probably attempt to introduce the EU Withdrawal Bill early next month. Let's see how Labour respond to it. I expect that they'll whip against it unless it contains a commitment to a confirmatory referendum, for the reasons I've outlined previously -- basically the parliamentary and constituency parties will mutiny if they don't, regardless of Jeremy Corbyn's views on the matter.

What do you say they'll do?
 

Tigger

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Warning: incoming wall of text. Where's Sal got to?

"They" in this context "is the Labour Party"? Can you explain, please, which Labour Party mechanism you think exists for deciding such matters? I mean, who decides, do you think, which front-bench spokesperson should go on, and what they should say?
No I'm not going to explain what labour party mechanisms exist, for anything at all. I don't care. I really dont care how the party is structured or how it makes decisions. I also don't care about whatever reasoning may explain the Labour position.

I will support a party or not, based on their policies, not based on their decision making processes or their difficulties in keeping their base together.

The Tories may well have been split but the anti-brexit Tories have abandoned their position for the sake of their place in their party. There remains a split but it is no longer pro and anti brexit the MPs are now all pro-brexit in word and deed even if they have personal doubts. The Tory split now is about either no deal brexit or some kind of deal.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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No I'm not going to explain what labour party mechanisms exist, for anything at all. I don't care. I really dont care how the party is structured or how it makes decisions. I also don't care about whatever reasoning may explain the Labour position.

I will support a party or not, based on their policies, not based on their decision making processes or their difficulties in keeping their base together.

The Tories may well have been split but the anti-brexit Tories have abandoned their position for the sake of their place in their party. There remains a split but it is no longer pro and anti brexit the MPs are now all pro-brexit in word and deed even if they have personal doubts. The Tory split now is about either no deal brexit or some kind of deal.
I see. So would it be fair to say you're interested in supporting the party you agree with rather than whether its policies are ever actually implemented? That is, you view elections more as an opportunity to express an opinion rather than as a way to influence the policies of the new government?

My attitude has always been that I'm interested in seeing policies with which I agree implemented, and my best chance of ever achieving this is through one of the two main UK parties.

Of the two, Labour are -- on most issues, at least -- far closer to my views than are the Tories, and even when I don't agree with the Labour Party then, as a member, even if I live in deepest Tory territory (not, I think, that I ever have for more than a year of my life after leaving university, come to think of it, though that's not intentional) I can influence Labour policy through the party's internal mechanisms and decision-making process.

At least I've been able to vote against Corbyn as party leader twice, which is more than people who dislike him but aren't members can do, and I can certainly continue to try to support Remain or at least a second referendum by voting for motions and candidates in internal party elections and encouraging my pro-Remain MP (and, of course, doing what I can to try to make sure he remains my MP).

If, as I'm sometimes tempted to do, I say, "Stuff Corbyn, Milne and that lot. I've sick of them," and go off and join the Lib Dems or the Greens or someone, then who does it help? In my case, no one but the Tories, since neither the Lib Dems nor the Greens are going to win in my constituency in the foreseeable future, but the Tories certainly might. Definitely doesn't help my MP, a very decent guy and good MP, quite apart from his pro-EU views, to get re-elected.

Tell me, if -- as may happen -- we find ourselves facing another general election as members of the EU some time this summer or early Autumn, with someone like Boris Johnson leading the Tories and wanting a no deal Brexit, and Corbyn leading a Labour Party that still maintains what you regard as an unacceptably equivocal position on Brexit, which of Johnson and Corbyn is the least unacceptable to you as PM, bearing in mind that, of the two, a Labour government is far more likely to call a referendum than is a Johnson-led Conservative one?

Unless you're somewhere your vote isn't going to make much difference, then it seems to me you're facing a real dilemma -- vote for someone with whose position on the EU you agree, knowing that he or she won't win, or vote for the candidate whose party offers at least some hope of a second referendum, delivered in part by pro-Remain MPs representing Leave-supporting areas?

What's your choice? Unless you live in one of quite a small number of constituencies, the alternative is to vote someone whose views may well be more in tune with your own but who isn't going to be able to do anything to implement them.
 
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Sid

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So two kicks against the can, and we are far enough down the road (again) to talk about the next extension.
[sarcastic mode] Nice [/sarcastic mode].
 
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Innula Zenovka

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One possible course of future events ---

Whatever happens at the head of the race (Brexit Party vs Labour) the Tories suffer a complete rout in the European Elections on Thursday.

A dazed Theresa May nevertheless presents the Withdrawal Agreement bill to the Commons, where it is rejected yet again -- this probably in the same week Donald Trump comes to visit us, just to add to the hilarity and chaos.

Anyway, TM immediately announces she's stepping down as PM as soon as the Conservatives have chosen a new leader. Tories hold a series of votes and end up with Boris Johnson vs A. N. Other (aka "In the name of sanity, anyone but Boris"). Vote goes to the local Conservative Associations and Boris is duly elected by a landslide.

Uproar in the Parliamentary Conservative Party, where Johnson is apparently deeply disliked and distrusted. Resignations and defections ensure, but other than that the parliamentary arithmetic doesn't change.

As the months move on, any significant recovery in the Conservative Party's electoral fortunes with Johnson as leader seems slow in coming, particularly now Farage is back in business, because nothing much has changed in Parliament. The EU make clear their disdain for the idea of reopening negotiations with Johnson, and backbench MPs have again started hijacking parliamentary time in order to pass legislation making it difficult for Johnson to crash us out without a deal.

It becomes ever more clear that nothing will resolve the situation other than a General Election, but at this point a combination of weariness and disgust at that party's antics, combined with Farage's party eroding the Conservatives' main support base, makes Corbyn a shoe-in, leading a minority government that will depend on SNP, PC and LibDem support, inevitably leading, one way or another, to the revocation of A50.
 
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Tigger

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I see. So would it be fair to say you're interested in supporting the party you agree with rather than whether its policies are ever actually implemented? That is, you view elections more as an opportunity to express an opinion rather than as a way to influence the policies of the new government?

My attitude has always been that I'm interested in seeing policies with which I agree implemented, and my best chance of ever achieving this is through one of the two main UK parties.
"If you don't vote labour you're helping the Tories win!"
"A vote for any party but labour is a wasted vote!"
"If you don't vote Labour you're really just a Tory supporter!"
"You're splitting the vote and helping the tories"

This is the bullshit argument presented at every election. There are only 2 parties who can win so vote for them! But there are only two parties who can win because people don't vote for who they support and instead vote for the big party they don't like as a way of voting against the other big party they like least.

It's fucking toxic.

And it's wrong.

And frankly, fuck you for that line of argument.

Here's the thing there are two main parties, yes, they have different policies, yes. But the one key biggest policy of all that will drown all the other policies under a sea of implementation impossibilities, on that policy they ARE BOTH THE SAME.

If I want to vote against burning the country down, I can't vote for the two parties who are holding a match over the fuel. I have to vote for someone who says burning it down is a bad idea. What's more if everyone who thinks burning it down is bad votes to not burn it down, the don't-burn-it-down party will win.

All we need for a different party to win is for people to vote for a party they believe in instead of holding their nose and voting for a party they don't support but who isnt quite as bad as the party they really hate. The party with the most votes wins, ANY party with the most votes. It is not written into law that only Tory or Labour can win.

When their policies are shit, walk away and vote for someone who's policies you approve of. If you do anything else you are helping to perpetuate the two-shit-party system. Vote for what you believe.

If you don't want to leave the EU, don't vote for this guy:
 

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It becomes ever more clear that nothing will resolve the situation other than a General Election, but at this point a combination of weariness and disgust at that party's antics, combined with Farage's party eroding the Conservatives' main support base, makes Corbyn a shoe-in, leading a minority government that will depend on SNP, PC and LibDem support, inevitably leading, one way or another, to the revocation of A50.
Let's say that TM is stepping down and there is going to be a general election, what's the most likely outcome? This: Tories and Labour loosing votes about the same amount they lost in the EP, and Boris Johnson or some ERG protegee becoming the next PM of the tories. Thanks to Brexit Party being a new, heavyweight party in the parliament, the Brexiteers suddenly got a much bigger majority, so finally they are making their wet dreams come true.

Anything else is unlikely, considering how much the British politicians just tend to react, but not act. The Brexiteers finally got a new voice which they can elect, the remainers maybe could vote Libdem, but Libdem has a past. The Brexit Party is a newcomer.
 

Innula Zenovka

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"If you don't vote labour you're helping the Tories win!"
"A vote for any party but labour is a wasted vote!"
"If you don't vote Labour you're really just a Tory supporter!"
"You're splitting the vote and helping the tories"

This is the bullshit argument presented at every election. There are only 2 parties who can win so vote for them! But there are only two parties who can win because people don't vote for who they support and instead vote for the big party they don't like as a way of voting against the other big party they like least.

It's fucking toxic.

And it's wrong.

And frankly, fuck you for that line of argument.

Here's the thing there are two main parties, yes, they have different policies, yes. But the one key biggest policy of all that will drown all the other policies under a sea of implementation impossibilities, on that policy they ARE BOTH THE SAME.

If I want to vote against burning the country down, I can't vote for the two parties who are holding a match over the fuel. I have to vote for someone who says burning it down is a bad idea. What's more if everyone who thinks burning it down is bad votes to not burn it down, the don't-burn-it-down party will win.

All we need for a different party to win is for people to vote for a party they believe in instead of holding their nose and voting for a party they don't support but who isnt quite as bad as the party they really hate. The party with the most votes wins, ANY party with the most votes. It is not written into law that only Tory or Labour can win.

When their policies are shit, walk away and vote for someone who's policies you approve of. If you do anything else you are helping to perpetuate the two-shit-party system. Vote for what you believe.

If you don't want to leave the EU, don't vote for this guy:
Thank you for your advice. Since I don't live in Islington North, I will have no difficulty in following it by in not voting for Jeremy Corbyn.

However, where I do live, I am represented by a Labour MP who is very pro-EU, pro-second referendum. Over the last few months, he's sent out frequent newsletters explaining his votes on Brexit and explaining why he's rebelling against the Labour whip and, much less frequently, why he's following it rather than voting as his views might lead you to expect he would.

In the next general election, if we're still in the EU at the time, the contest is between him and the Conservative candidate, and it's a very winnable seat for the Conservatives, at least under normal circumstances. That's the reality of the situation, as it is in most English constituencies. While I don't know who my next MP will be, though I expect Labour to win the seat again, he or she will be the incumbent pro Remain Labour MP or the Conservative, who will almost certainly be pro hard-Brexit, regarding "no deal" with equanimity, if not actually wanting it.

So I, like all other voters in my constituency who are pro-EU, really do have two choices -- vote for the incumbent Labour MP or vote for their preferred Lib Dem or Green candidate, knowing that she or he stands very little chance of election, and that the alternative to the sitting MP is (almost certainly) a pro-Brexit Tory.

The alternative -- voting Lib Dem or Green or Monster Raving Loony Party -- might be satisfying but the only person it would help in the long-term would be the Tory. The last time I voted Lib Dem was in 2010, when Labour said they'd take the fact that compulsory ID cards were in the manifesto as a mandate to introduce them if they won, and silly me thought that, while if I voted Lib-Dem it would help the Tory win (he did) he was opposed to ID cards too and, anyway, the polls were pointing to a minority Labour government depending on Lib-Dem support.

We all know how well that worked out for everyone.

That's the reality of the situation. It's all very well to say,
All we need for a different party to win is for people to vote for a party they believe in instead of holding their nose and voting for a party they don't support but who isnt quite as bad as the party they really hate. The party with the most votes wins, ANY party with the most votes. It is not written into law that only Tory or Labour can win.
but it's about as true to say that all I need to do to become a millionaire is to buy a lottery ticket and be very lucky indeed -- works for someone, after all, most weeks of the year.

However, it's not a particularly sound plan because, while technically true that if I buy a lottery ticket there's no law that says I won't win, it's not very likely to happen.

You might not like that, but is, sadly, the case is that if we're still in the EU at the time of the next election, then for most voters in England that's the choice they'll have to make, and no amount of wishful thinking will make it otherwise. To pretend that it will is simply a surrender to motivated self-delusion. If someone wants to make a principled decision to vote the the candidate of their choice, knowing that candidate is going to lose and that, therefore, their vote simply makes it more likely the Conservative will win, then OK.

But people who do that should not delude themselves about the likely consequences of their actions, and can't really complain about what the Tory candidate does if she or he manages to get elected.

If I had the misfortune to be represented by Kate Hoey, or even Jeremy Corbyn for different reasons, I might think differently. Similarly, I might think differently if I lived in Brighton, since I'd have no problems voting for Caroline Lucas. But as it is, assuming we're still in the EU at the time, my choice -- as it will be for many people -- is between the party that offers at least a chance of remaining in the EU and one that offers no chance at all.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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Let's say that TM is stepping down and there is going to be a general election, what's the most likely outcome? This: Tories and Labour loosing votes about the same amount they lost in the EP, and Boris Johnson or some ERG protegee becoming the next PM of the tories. Thanks to Brexit Party being a new, heavyweight party in the parliament, the Brexiteers suddenly got a much bigger majority, so finally they are making their wet dreams come true.

Anything else is unlikely, considering how much the British politicians just tend to react, but not act. The Brexiteers finally got a new voice which they can elect, the remainers maybe could vote Libdem, but Libdem has a past. The Brexit Party is a newcomer.
I'm just speculating about possible outcomes. I think you're mistaken, though, when you say,
Thanks to Brexit Party being a new, heavyweight party in the parliament, the Brexiteers suddenly got a much bigger majority, so finally they are making their wet dreams come true.
This is a General Election I'm talking about, not the forthcoming EU elections, so it will be first past the post. The vast majority of the votes for Nigel Farage's Brexit Party will be cast by people who would otherwise vote Conservative, thus depressing the Conservative vote in many places to enable Labour or the Lib Dems to win the seat even though, under proportional representation, the Conservatives and Brexit Party supporters would doubtless vote for each other's candidate as the second preference and one or the other would win. Because we don't have PR, though, the Brexit Party's participation in general elections will help Labour and the Lib Dems, at least in most English seats.

So I think that Farage's new party will, like UKIP when he was running that, do far more damage to the Conservative Party than to anyone else.
 

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Well and this is where our opinions differ: in my opinion pro Brexit people are fed up both equally with Labour and Tory, for obvious reasons. So when a new party emerges, offering enough candidates, they are going to tend to flock around it.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Well and this is where our opinions differ: in my opinion pro Brexit people are fed up both equally with Labour and Tory, for obvious reasons. So when a new party emerges, offering enough candidates, they are going to tend to flock around it.
The whole reason we had a referendum in the first place was that the Conservatives were hemorrhaging support -- at the time -- to UKIP, and the Conservatives were terrified of the electoral implications of this. Up until 2015, the EU wasn't even in the top 10 issues that voters -- Conservative or Labour -- cared about. The arguments were all about austerity and taxes and the Health Service.

However, there were enough anti-EU voters prepared to defect from the Conservatives to Farage's UKIP for this to be a huge problem for the Conservative Party -- far bigger than the problem for Labour -- and Cameron rashly promised a referendum in the hope of stemming the flow of defections.

Briefly, far far more Conservative voters want Brexit, and as hard a Brexit as possible, than do Labour voters. So while both Labour and the Conservatives will doubtless lose support to Farage's Brexit Party, Farage will take far more voters from the Conservatives than from Labour, with the result that the split in the right-wing, anti-EU vote allows Labour to emerge as the victor in many cases, though with less than 50% of the total votes cast. (ETA or, more to the point, fewer votes than the combined total of the Conservatives, The Brexit Party and UKIP).

This is first past the post, remember. If we ran the elections under PR it would be very different and doubtless the Conservatives and the Brexit Party would receive the second preference votes of each other's supporters.

But we don't run elections that way in the mainland UK, so I'm quite pleased with Farage for splitting the right-wing Leave vote as he plans to.
 
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